Edward Baker "Eddie" Lincoln (March 10, 1846 – February 1, 1850) was the second son of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. He was named after Lincoln's friend Edward Dickinson Baker.
His mother spelled his name "Eddie", while his father spelled it "Eddy."
Little is known about the Lincolns' second son. A surviving story says that one day during a visit to Mary's family, Eddie's older brother, Robert Todd Lincoln, found a kitten and brought it to the house. Despite Mary’s stepmother's dislike of cats and order to throw it out, Eddie screamed and protested. He nursed and cared for the helpless kitten, which he loved. Eddie was described by his parents as a tender-hearted, kind, and loving child.
Eddie died almost a month before his fourth birthday. Although census records list "chronic consumption" (tuberculosis) as the cause of death, it has been suggested that Eddie died of medullary thyroid cancer as his father and two of his brothers may have shared part of the genetic cancer syndrome multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 2B.[dubious – discuss]
Eddie's remains are buried at Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, USA. Both parents were devastated. Some historians believe Eddie's death began Mary Todd's journey to instability. A week after Eddie's death, Mary and Abraham wrote a poem (though authorship is sometimes questioned) entitled "Little Eddie." It was printed in the Illinois State Journal newspaper.
Those midnight stars are sadly dimmed,
That late so brilliantly shone,
And the crimson tinge from cheek and lip,
With the heart's warm life has flown -
The angel of Death was hovering nigh,
And the lovely boy was called to die.
The silken waves of his glossy hair
Lie still over his marble brow,
And the pallid lip and pearly cheek
The presence of Death avow.
Pure little bud in kindness given,
In mercy taken to bloom in heaven.
Happier far is the angel child
With the harp and the crown of gold,
Who warbles now at the Savior's feet
The glories to us untold.
Eddie, meet blossom of heavenly love,
Dwells in the spirit-world above.
Angel Boy - fare thee well, farewell
Sweet Eddie, We bid thee adieu!
Affection's wail cannot reach thee now
Deep though it be, and true.
Bright is the home to him now given
For "of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
The final line is on the boy's tombstone. The next child of Abraham and Mary (Willie Lincoln) was born ten months after Eddie's death.